Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Continues Its Weirdness to the Last

Last night was rough. I hardly got any sleep. I did get to sleep in a little bit, until about 8:30. When I woke up, the wind was howling. It was gusting over 40 mph. The electricity was flickering. I took a quick shower and did some morning time wasting -- checking email and Ravelry, you know, the important things :) Then our contractor called, saying that he'd be over in five minutes to fix the hole he cut in the wall of our basement bathroom.

I ran downstairs to get the paper out of the yard. My next door neighbor, C, and her daughter were leaving their house at the same time. We stared in disbelief as we discovered that two very large branches of the tree in our front yard had fallen thisclose to C's new car:

These pictures were taken after I had disentangled the branches from her wheel wells and undercarriage. Miraculously, there was no damage to her car, not even a scratch, considering how many little twigs and branches were attached to those larger branches. Her first response was, "They missed your light!"

The tree is a huge Silver Maple. I think it's one of the oldest trees in the neighborhood. I love that tree -- it's one of the reasons I wanted to buy the house. It withstood Hurricane Isabel, even though two other maples on our block were torn, roots up, by that storm. However, there have been two pretty strong droughts since then that weakened the tree considerably. I've been trying to save it, having the dead stuff trimmed, watering, etc., but I think it's time to cut it down. Silver Maples have very shallow root systems. I don't want this tree falling on the house.

About 10 minutes after the tree branch discovery, a freak blizzardy snowstorm blew in. No weather report I'd seen said anything about snow, and it wasn't even cold. Here's what it looked like out my front door:

Two minutes after this, the sun came out, lighting up all the moisture in the trees:


Winter Break has been relaxing (mostly). There's been a lot of little stuff going on, so very little knitting. Yesterday, Mr. T thought it might be fun if the boys and I met him downtown for lunch. "I see lots of empty parking spaces," he said. So we hopped in the car and drove downtown only to discover that there are lots of empty parking spaces because all of the meters have been removed in preparation for the Inauguration. So everyone had to cram into the few parking spots that were left. After driving around or 20 minutes fruitlessly searching for an open spot, we parked in a garage. Normally, if I'm going to go to the trouble of driving downtown, and if I'm shelling out $13 for parking, I do NOT want Subway or Baja Fresh for lunch. Or a deli. But that's what we had. It was a nice day, and it killed some time.

Otherwise, there's a lot of Guitar Hero being played. Here's Jr. Jr., doing his best rocker/ladykiller thing:

Yes, the room is messy. There's no point in cleaning it up while they're home 24 hours a day.

And just so you don't get wool withdrawals, here are some shots of Madli's Shawl, first, being modeled by Soft Little Bear:

And finally, lounging alluringly on the bench:

Good luck to Sharon and family, who are competing in Old Town Alexandria's New Year's Eve miler!

And to everyone else, I wish you all a very Happy New Year, hoping that 2009 ushers in better times for all of us.


kippi said...

So sad about your tree! Weirdo weather though. If you hadn't capture it on film, you might not have really believed it happened.

Love the guitar hero pose. Have you played yet?


Anonymous said...

That weather was bizarre, wasn't it? I was at work in Alexandria in the morning, and we had the same freak snow incident. I got home in the afternoon and did NOT want to drive back into Alexandria to run (even a mere mile) in those howling winds, but Jacob was beyond excited and was meeting X-country teammates, so off we went. It was actually a blast--John and I chugged along and finished in 8:30 minutes, but Jacob did a 5:20. He was disappointed because he's trying to get a sub-5, but he beat his friends and allowed himself to be consoled that the wind slowed EVERYONE down (overall, times were slow this year). Unfortunately, it was a point to point race and the direction was straight into the headwind! The energy at the race was marvelous, so a good time was had by all. Altogether, we probably got in a 2.5 mile run between running down to the start from my office, and then jogging around to stay warm until the race started. The three of us went to Vaso's for dinner (my new favorite place) and then home to shower and drive Jake to his party. Sam stayed at her Dad's and helped host the neighborhood "block" party (Illinois St.). John and I built a fire, poured champagne, and watched old Twilight Zone reruns on the Sci-Fi channel. Heaven!!!

Happy New Year to you and your family, Loren!

Sharon said...

Ooops--didn't mean to hit the anonymous button. Just Sharon posting. By the way, I love the shawl pictures and the model. Guitar Hero was last's year's big novelty, but it's fun to see your son so "into" it!!!!

Jeanne said...

That's too bad about your tree - its always a shame when you have to take big ones down. The shawl is amazing!

Happy New Year!

Loren T said...


The race sounds like it was a lot of fun. 5:20 is a great time in that howling wind! Jacob should be very pleased. Guitar Hero is lots of fun. Nothing about it is too "last year" for us, since it was my *cough cough* MOTHER'S DAY PRESENT. Guitar Hero was the first time I've played on it, too :) It was fun, and harder than it looks. My kids are getting an appreciation for older music that they hadn't before, although out of key versions of "Rambling Man" are getting on my nerves.

We ended up in Clarendon, at Boulevard Woodgrill, and had a nice time. The kids stayed up until midnight watching "Elf."